Manns to coach, Benter to play in inaugural All-Star Future Games

The Indiana All-Star program added a new wrinkle to this summer’s activities.

In addition to the annual Indiana Junior All-Stars and Indiana All-Stars playing against the All-Stars from Kentucky, there is now a Futures Game that will take place between non-senior Indiana players.

The Futures Games, one each for boys and girls, will pair teams of current Indiana freshmen, sophomores and juniors in a North-South format. The first Futures Games will be played June 10 at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The girls game is set for noon, and the boys game will follow about 2 p.m. The IndyStar Indiana All-Stars will host the Kentucky senior All-Stars later the same day in Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Representing the South team in the inaugural Futures Games are two Jackson County figures. Seymour boys basketball head coach Kirk Manns will be coaching the South team, and junior guard Jack Benter from Brownstown Central will be playing on the South team.

Manns is 171-135 in 14 seasons as a varsity head coach, including 43-47 in four seasons at Seymour.

Manns also will be getting inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame this Wednesday. The day’s events will include a reception at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame museum in New Castle that afternoon with a banquet that evening at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.

As for Benter, the Brave just wrapped his junior season in the Class 2A Southport Semistate on Saturday against Linton-Stockton in the semistate championship.

Benter scored 32 points in the loss to the Miners, and it was a snippet of the production he had all season. Benter averaged just a tick above 30 points per game this past season, and he also set the BCHS school scoring record on Jan. 7, which was previously held by John Reid in 1970 with 1,394 points. Benter also set the single-game scoring record on Jan. 24 by scoring 48 points against Silver Creek.

Joining Manns on the sideline to coach the South team will be Jackson Williams of Greenwood Christian as the assistant coach.

Benter will represent the South team on the floor with junior K.J. Windham and sophomore Mark Zachery IV of Ben Davis as well as sophomore Azavier Robinson and freshman Brennan Miller of Lawrence North. Indianapolis Attucks sophomore Dezmon Briscoe, Franklin Community junior Micah Davis, Evansville Christian junior Josiah Dunham, Evansville Bosse junior Taray Howell, Greenfield-Central sophomore Braylon Mullins, Bloomfield freshman Blake Neill and Heritage Hills sophomore Trent Sisley completing the South team.

Clint Swan of Crown Point is the head coach and Cliff Hawkins of Tipton is the assistant coach for the North team.

The North team features one player from 12 schools. The lineup includes Wapahani junior Isaac Andrews, Kokomo junior Flory Bidunga, Westfield junior Trey Buchanan, University junior Sabien Cain, Tipton sophomore Grady Carpenter, Brownsburg junior Kanon Catchings, Fishers junior Jalen Haralson, Fort Wayne North junior Brauntae Johnson, South Bend St. Joseph sophomore Chase Konieczny, East Chicago Central sophomore Dominique Murphy, Chesterton junior Justin Sims and Fort Wayne Concordia junior Ajani Washington.

Rosters for the inaugural IndyStar girls All-Star Futures Game were announced on Feb. 16.

Players and coaches for the All-Star Futures Games are picked by a Futures Games committee chaired by games director Mike Broughton. Players who are juniors also are eligible for selection to the 2023 Indiana Junior All-Stars that will be selected later by an Indiana Basketball Coaches Association committee chaired by Brandon Bradley of Kankakee Valley.

The Indiana All-Stars program was founded in 1939 when the Indiana boys All-Stars played the state champion Frankfort Hot Dogs. The All-Star series with Kentucky began in 1940, and the girls portion of the All-Stars was added in 1976. The Junior All-Stars, boys and girls, were added in 1996.

The Indiana portion of the All-Star Games is organized and produced by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association. The Indianapolis Star, with its IndyStar brand, is the title sponsor.

2023 Indiana All-Star key dates

Sunday, June 4 — Indiana Juniors vs. Kentucky Juniors at Jeffersonville (2315 Allison Lane, Jeffersonville) — girls, 2 p.m.; boys, to follow; admission, $10 per person at the door (adults, school-aged students; preschool children are free).

Wednesday, June 7 — Junior-Senior All-Star game at TBA — girls, 6 p.m.; boys, to follow; admission, $10 per person at the door (adults, school-aged students; preschool children are free).

Friday, June 9 — Indiana at Owensboro Sportscenter (1215 Hickman Ave., Owensboro, Kentucky) — girls, 5:30 p.m. CDT (6:30 p.m. EDT); boys, to follow, about 7:30 p.m. CDT (8:30 p.m. EDT). Ticket information, TBA.

Saturday, June 10 — Futures Games and Indiana vs. Kentucky at Gainbridge Fieldhouse (125 S. Pennsylvania St., Indianapolis) — Futures Games, girls, noon; boys, 2 p.m.; Senior girls, 5 p.m.; Senior boys, to follow (about 7:30 p.m.). Tickets go on sale on April 15.